Hospice care can provide a peaceful alternative to aggressively treating a terminal or end-stage illness. Both the patient and family can benefit from hospice care in many situations, but hospice works best when patients have all of their affairs in order and make their wishes known.
The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. can help. If you are considering hospice care in the Finger Lakes, Rochester, Naples, Pittsford, and surrounding areas, give us a call at (585) 546-1734. We can provide you with assistance in planning for the issues that arise at the end of your life, in making sure your wishes on medical care are respected, and in controlling your legacy. In addition to the personalized one-on-one advice that we offer to you, we can also answer questions you may have including:
- How can I make sure my wishes are respected if I choose hospice?
- What are some legal and financial issues I should address before going into hospice?
- How can a Finger Lakes hospice planning lawyer help me?
How can I make sure my wishes are respected if I choose hospice?
When you choose hospice or make any other decisions on medical care, it is important to communicate those choices to your caregivers and your family members. However simply telling your doctor and family may not be enough to protect you.
The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. can help you to create advanced directives for healthcare. A living will and a Do Not Resuscitate order can allow you to decline unwanted treatment and to make your preferences known so your family does not doubt your wishes and so your doctors do not turn to a family member to decide your care in case of incapacity.
In addition to creating a living will and a Do Not Resuscitate with the help of a hospice planning lawyer, you should also name someone to act as a healthcare proxy on your behalf. The healthcare proxy makes your decisions when you can no longer communicate your own preferences for healthcare and it should be someone who you can count on to respect your preferences regarding end-of-life care.
What are Some Legal and Financial Issues to Address When Choosing Hospice?
Making sure your wishes for medical treatment are respected is often the first priority of people with a terminal illness or end stage illness. However, you may also wish to take some other steps to plan for the future when you decide that hospice care is the right choice for you.
Because you may be in hospice care for a period of weeks or months before your death, you need to determine what will happen to your assets during this time. If you become incapacitated, someone will need to manage the assets on your behalf. Creating a power of attorney and/or using living trusts and selecting a backup trustee can give you the control you need to say who should manage your property. The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. will assist you in creating an incapacity plan to ensure investments and assets are appropriately managed when you are in hospice and become unable to tend to your own affairs.
Finally, you may wish to make sure you have control over your legacy. If you have not created an estate plan, you should do so as soon as possible when going into hospice care. It is not too late to create a legally enforceable plan for what happens after your death, as long as you are still of sound mind.
Your plan may include efforts to reduce or avoid estate taxes; a business succession plan to transfer control over your company; a plan for trusts which will protect heirs from losses and bad decisions; and a last will and testament to ensure your family does not fight over the assets left behind. The process of estate planning is different for everyone, but creating or updating an existing estate plan is essential for all patients who have made the decision to choose hospice.
How can a Finger Lakes Hospice Planning Lawyer Help Me?
The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. can provide assistance with hospice planning to clients in the Finger Lakes, Rochester, Naples, Pittsford and surrounding areas. If you or your family member has chosen hospice, we can assist you in winding up your affairs and making full use of legal tools to protect your family and your legacy. Give us a call today at (585) 546-1734 or contact us online to find out more.